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Match Reports

📝Match Report: Crawley Town 2-1 Grimsby Town

Town strike first but fall to second consecutive defeat

9 March 2019

Lee Blease
Wes Thomas

Grimsby Town suffered a second consecutive defeat as they were beaten by Crawley Town.

The Mariners made an excellent start to the game and took a deserved lead through Wes Thomas' 12th goal of the season.

But the home side then began to take control of the game and they turned the scoreline around before half-time with two goals scored by former Town loanee Ollie Palmer.

And the visitors were unable to get themselves back into the game after the break as Crawley looked to extend their advantage.

In the end, there were no further goals, as the home side weathered some late Town pressure to secure the points.

Two changes were made to the Town side after last week's home defeat by Cambridge United, with Ludvig Ohman returning from suspension and Martyn Woolford back after an injury.

James McKeown started in goal, with Luke Hendrie, Harry Davis, Ohman, Danny Collins and Sebastian Ring in defence.

Woolford, Jake Hessenthaler and Elliot Embleton were the midfielders, with Kristian Dennis alongside Thomas in attack.

Reece Hall-Johnson and Harry Clifton were the two to drop out of the starting XI from last week but both were named on the bench, along with Harry Cardwell, Charles Vernam, Alex Whitmore, Jordan Cook and Sam Russell.

Crawley were unchanged from their previous game, with Palmer among those looking to cause problems for the away defence.

Town began brightly, with an early cross from Hendrie being cleared by Lewis Young at the far post after it proved just too high for Thomas.

A shot by Thomas missed the target after a flowing move on five minutes as the visitors' good start continued.

And the Mariners were rewarded for their early dominance when they opened the scoring two minutes later.  A free kick was sent into the box by Hendrie and was headed back across goal by Ohman for THOMAS to volley into the top corner of the net.

Crawley's response saw them twice hit the bar in quick succession, with Matty Willock and then Reece Grego-Cox both striking the woodwork.

A home free kick on 13 minutes hit the Town wall, before a free kick at the other end was eventually cleared.

Woolford was shown the first yellow card of the game for a foul on Palmer on the halfway line, before a header from Palmer was comfortably saved by McKeown.

Palmer was booked for dissent on 21 minutes after a foul by Ohman, before Willock sent a shot over the bar for Crawley.

The home side levelled the scores four minutes later, when a cross from the home right was met at the far post by PALMER, whose header across goal beat McKeown.

A Crawley corner soon after the goal was blocked for another one by Dennis, with Embleton clearing the second flag-kick.  The hosts kept possession though and they built up another attack which ended when a shot from Willock was caught by McKeown.

A free kick sent into the box by George Francomb was eventually cleared, before a Town free kick at the other end was sent out for a corner, which led to Woolford firing off-target.

After Town's bright start and opening goal, Crawley had taken control of the game and they completed the turnaround on 40 minutes.  The ball was played in by Grego-Cox to PALMER and he fired past McKeown from close range to make it 2-1.

Town looked for a leveller before the break and a good move led to Embleton finding Thomas but his effort was blocked for a throw-in.

Two added minutes were played at the end of the half and the last chance for the Mariners to force an equaliser before the break came to nothing when a cross from Embleton was caught by home keeper Glenn Morris.

That meant the home side retained their advantage at the interval, with Town having plenty to do in the second half if they were to take anything from the game.

No changes were made before the restart and the first attack of note came from the home side with Palmer, who worked his way through the Town defence before going down inside the box, although his appeal for a penalty was waved away.

A free kick from Dannie Bulman on 51 minutes was not fully dealt with and Palmer was denied by McKeown before sending the rebound over the bar.

At the other end, Embleton cut inside but fired well off-target, before a Crawley corner on 56 minutes went all the way through for a Town throw-in.

Cook replaced Dennis and Clifton came on in place of Woolford as the Mariners made a double substitution on the hour.

A home corner soon afterwards led to McKeown making a great save from Grego-Cox before Ohman cleared off the line from a follow-up effort and Collins finally got the ball away.

A cross from Cook almost fell for Hendrie but was cleared before the wing-back could get to it as Town started to show signs of getting back into the game.

Embleton was the third Grimsby player to be yellow-carded after a foul inside his own half on 71 minutes.

A chance for the Mariners came soon afterwards, with Thomas working an opening but shooting over the bar.

Clifton then saw a shot blocked, before Willock was replaced by Filipe Morais for Crawley.

Ohman became the latest player to be booked after a foul, while Ibrahim Meite was the next to come on as he replaced Grego-Cox for the last nine minutes of the game.

Vernam replaced Collins as Town looked to an extra attacker in a bid to get something from the game.

A string of three corners in quick succession came with five minutes to go as they looked to put pressure on the Crawley goal but they were unable to find a way through.

Another corner from Embleton was punched clear for a throw-in by keeper Morris and from it, Ohman flicked a header on but the Mariners were unable to capitalise.

A stoppage came after Young went down and had to receive treatment on the pitch, which contributed to six additional minutes being signalled.

Town kept pushing for a leveller and Hessenthaler won a corner in the last of the added minutes.  With McKeown up to join the attack, the ball was not fully cleared but the danger came to an end when a diving header from Cook went wide.

That proved to be Town's last chance to snatch something from the game and they must now look to get back on track when they travel to Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday.

Crawley Town

1 Glenn Morris 
17 Tom Dallison 
5 Joe McNerney 
14 George Francomb 
2 Lewis Young 
18 David Sesay 
19 Matty Willock 
7 Reece Grego-Cox 
21 Dannie Bulman (C) 
28 Panutche Camara 
9 Ollie Palmer


12 Yusuf Mersin 
33 Bondz N'Gala 
22 Filipe Morais 
4 Josh Payne 
13 Ricardo German 
29 Ibrahim Meite


1 James McKeown 
6 Danny Collins (C) 
24 Harry Davis 
5 Ludvig Öhman 
27 Luke Hendrie 
3 Sebastian Ring 
16 Martyn Woolford 
7 Jake Hessenthaler 
22 Elliot Embleton 
8 Kristian Dennis 
39 Wes Thomas 


23 Sam Russell 
2 Reece Hall-Johnson 
25 Alex Whitmore 
15 Harry Clifton 
11 Jordan Cook 
17 Harry Cardwell 
18 Charles Vernam

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Attendance: 2,043 (412)

Next Up: Tranmere Rovers (A)

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